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Archive for December, 2009

Linux, Ubuntu is still not good enough to replace Windows or Mac OSX

Posted by lubosp on December 2, 2009

I had two old desktops (2GHz single core) and I decided to gut both and create one desktop that would run new Ubuntu 9.10.

I re-build the computer hardware after some experimenting with hard drive and DVD drive jumpers and made it bootable.

I then installed Ubuntu 9.10, install itself was a pleasant experiance comparable to Windows 7 install experience. Everything went smoothly.

After reboot I started exploring Ubuntu OS (I am running Ubuntu 9.10 in VMWare Player on my laptop). To my surprise Ubuntu did not recognize by name any other computers on my intranet (mix of Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines).  I can ping the other machines by IP but not by name. Network explorer did see the other machines by name and could access their shared hard drives, so Samba was working OK, but networking name resolution wasn’t working (kind of big deal when you are using DHCP).

I spent few hours poking around and googling but was unable to resolve the issue. I was also not able to add my networked printer, I did not find any way by using UI to add a printer (must be well hidden). To give Ubuntu some credit, my NAS MyWorldBook was recognized by Network explorer/Samba, that was not the case in Ubuntu 8.x and 9.04.

After about a day of playing with and tweaking Ubuntu, I cut my loses and installed Windows XP pro. The install was without any problems, networking works as expected, and I can add my network printer.


Installing and running Ubuntu was major disappointment. While I am sure with enough googling and editing some config files, I would be able to make Ubuntu (networking, printer) work properly, I cannot imagine that person without computer and system administration experience can install and use Ubuntu. I am part time system administrator for small business, and I wouldn’t introduce Ubuntu based machines into the network after my last experience. It looks like Windows are save for now and there is not real thread from Ubuntu to displays Windows any time soon. I am disappointed also because I was and still am big fan of Linux, and I thought Ubuntu is slowly improving to the level, where it is going to be able to compete with Windows and Mac OSX.

I think that main reason of Linux still has problems to catch up with Windows and Mac OSX is the huge fragmentation of the Linux world (so many distributions, so much work duplicated), it remind me Unix situation 15-20 years ago.

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